New MacGyver stars explain how reboot taps into ‘80s nostalgia

John Gaudiosi
New MacGyver stars explain how reboot taps into ‘80s nostalgia
The stars of the CBS reboot of MacGyver tell us about the trials and complexities of bringing the ‘80s series back in a new form for today’s audiences, as well as letting us know how about their favorite MacGyver gadgets.

The world was a different place in 1985 when Richard Dean Anderson first brought Angus “Mac” MacGyver to TV audiences. The life hacker was a master of using unconventional problem solving and a wealth of scientific knowledge to think his way out of complex problems – and, of course, save the lives of everyone around him. According to executive producer James Wan (The Conjuring 2), television needs a hero like MacGyver who uses brain over brawn.

CBS is resurrecting the ‘80s hit on Friday Sept. 23 with actor Lucas Till (X-Men: Apocalypse) playing MacGyver and George Eads (CSI) playing a version of the character Jack Dalton. This reimagining of the series won’t focus on MacGyver as a lone wolf, according to executive producer Peter Lenkov. Instead, he’ll have help on his missions from Dalton, his boss Patricia Thornton (Sandrine Holt) and blackhat hacker Riley Davis (Tristin Mays). He also has a roommate, Wilt Bozer (Justin Hires).

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Under the oversight of the Department of External Services, MacGyver takes on the responsibility of saving the world each week, armed with his resourcefulness and sometimes with little more than bubble gum and a paper clip to hack his way out of a conundrum. Lenkov revealed one such hack for the new show involves MacGyver cheating a hand-scanner to open a vault.

The producers and two central stars (Eads and Till) were at Comic Con recently to reveal a 90-second trailer for the show. In the clip, MacGyver is featured in a James Bond-style tuxedo at a cocktail party, only he’s more interested in the supply room and the gadgets he can concoct there. There’s also a clip of MacGyver taking off on a jet – a la Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation – hanging to the wheel.

Lenkov has revealed he is game to bring back some of the original cast members to this latest iteration, including Richard Dean Anderson and Bruce McGill, who played MacGyver and Jack Dalton, respectively. In the video interview above, we spoke with Eads and Till about taking on everybody’s favorite DIY hero.